Level 3: Book "Jesus for Most People",Explanations
The book was first finished in 2010 and then slightly revised in 2012. This page contains links to the Introduction, each of the parts of the book, and to the book as a whole. The best way to get a sense of the book is to read the Introduction. Basically, I take an Enlightenment view of Jesus in which he is a great prophet but not God. Originally the book was self-published through Xlibris, and you can still get a copy of the 2010 version through them, paper or ebook. Look up me, Xlibris, or the title of the book on the Internet. This page contains more material than was in the Xlibris version. Feel free to download and use the material here as you wish. Seeing this material cannot hurt the dismal sales on Xlibris, and might help. Don't forget that I own the copyright in all this material, and retain all rights. If you do use the material for a course or group, please credit me. Thanks.
After I finished writing the religion books, I found a book to recommend, as below. Allen gives an excellent short summary of life in Palestine and the Roman Empire about the time of Jesus, and gives good short summaries of how people have looked at Jesus in major periods up through our time. People make of Jesus what makes them feel good about themselves. Much of the criticism she applies to other writers applies to me as well. Her book will help you assess what you think. Her writing is fun and accurate. I think she is a firm Roman Catholic. While she does not openly scoff at the search for the historical Jesus, she is clear that she thinks it is often misguided.
Allen, Charlotte. 1998. The Human Christ: the Search for the Historical Jesus. NY: The Free Press.